The Rubik's cube that will become my 2016 garden - part 1. Family Heirloom tomatoes

I've got a real problem. My garden area is shrinking, and my wish-to-grow list is..well, growing. The side yard plot that I hand dug the summer that we moved in - 30 X 50 feet of rocky red clay, circa 1992 - doesn't work so well any longer. The trees on our property are growing, meaning the sun exposure is decreasing. The front part still works fairly well for greens and beets, perhaps beans and squash - but potential success is scuttled by some stubborn critters. 

We are also finally in need of replacing our deck, so the days of big containers of Sun Gold and Egg Yolk and Mexico Midget are likely over. 

This leaves me with the edge garden of the back yard (our male chocolate lab Buddy did a number on our perennial flowers, but the sun is ample enough, so grow bags and straw bales will reside there this summer. Of course, there is that driveway that is no longer a driveway - at least during growing season.

Still, though normal people would find it plenty large enough, crazy me finds it wanting (though I am thankful for it!). This means looking at what I want to grow, what I germinated, and what can reasonably fit. I've not figured it out yet, and there will be squeezing and staggering and some too-close planting in too-small containers.

I've actually got categories for my growing targets. These are: Dwarf Tomato project plants, family heirloom tomatoes given to me over the past years, flavor favorites, the need for fresh seed, and tomatoes for pollen for more breeding. Oh yes - also some tomato mysteries - and I've not even gotten to eggplant and peppers yet.

It's a long season, so there will be plenty of time to cover each of these (especially if I get my act together and start to blog regularly again). I wanted to start on the family heirlooms, since this is the vector that first seduced me into my many years dabbling in heirloom tomatoes.

Here are the varieties in the family heirloom category that I will be sure to fit into my garden (seedlings of all of these are up and growing):  Uncle Joe, Aunt Edna, Maris family, Yusopov, Abraham Brown (which is potato leaf), Walt Swokla heirloom, Springston Heirloom, and Mama's Huge Orange. I will be sure to report on all of these over the summer - and deeply appreciate being given these cherished seeds through the mail or at events this year.